Monday, 5 April 2010

eggscellent cupcakes...(groan, I know, but come on, it's Easter!)

Two years ago for Easter I made some cupcakes. They were good cupcakes, with some very good icing. I kept thinking that next time around I would make them again, kind of like an Easter tradition. Except I didn't. Instead I spent last Easter making hot cross buns (see that tradition did stick!) and learning about patchwork. The whole time-consuming posh icing, nice presentation, thing went out of the window. 

Then this Easter I very nearly didn't make them. I was thinking we should be good, that we should be thinking ahead and trying to shed pounds for Summer and eating better. Then I let on to people at work that I had this recipe up my sleeve, and the inevitable happened, I spent last Tuesday night elbows deep in ganache trying desperately to evenly and beautifully ice a set of cupcakes for my co-workers. 

I also upped the game this time around. Last time I had vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing, however, I know the ladies in my office, and given the choice of vanilla or chocolate, chocolate wins. And so on Wednesday morning last week I braved my bus journey to work, with my elbows out and scowl on, cradling a cake tin filled with carefully iced and topped chocolate Easter cupcakes. It was worth it. The office loved them, and it was nice to take a little something special in as everyone has been working incredibly hard in the run up to the break.

I think these would be the perfect little treat for anyone over Easter, especially if you've got a bunch of dark chocolate and mini-eggs kicking around. I made both large and mini-cupcakes as they are seriously rich, and sometimes all you need is a little bite of sweetness with a mid-afternoon coffee. (and yes, you can totally justify eating three small ones in one mouthful go)

I won't post the cupcake recipe, as I got it from the lovely Rosy, over here. She is right, they are amazing, dense, moist and with a lovely depth of flavour. I made two batches, the first to get exactly 8 large cupcakes, and the second to split between a few more large and a whole host of mini ones. I had 11 large and 11 small in the end, and the batch of ganache I made was enough to generously ice them all. 

I will share my whipped ganache again, in case you missed it last time around. It's my go-to chocolate icing recipe for both cupcakes and layer cakes, as it is beautifully soft to pipe or spread, and firms up well to hold it's shape. Careful though, this stuff is incredibly rich!

Whipped Ganache 

You can easily halve this recipe and it'll be enough for eight cupcakes, or there abouts.

8 ounces dark chocolate
3/4 cup double cream
1/4 cup soft butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.(if, like me, no matter how small you chopped your chocolate the whole lot won't melt, then you can place the bowl over barely simmering water and stir like crazy to get it to melt. You have to be really careful though as if you get it too hot you will split the ganache and it will be gone forever, I speak from bitter experience, one that left me in tears at 11pm on evening a few months beware!) Add butter to the chocolate (make sure its soft and at room temp) and stir until combined (you can also do this in the double boiler situation if you're still having trouble getting everything to melt together - do remember as soon as the ganache is smooth to remove it from the heat and continue stirring to avoid over-heating).  Whisk together sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla in another bowl until combined.Pour the sugar mixture onto the chocolate mixture, then stir until combined and smooth.  Let sit at room temperature until thickened.  Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes when they're completely cooled. Lick bowl. 


love those cupcakes said...

Ooh, lovely cupcakes. I want to work in your office.

little pink room said...

They look lovely!